Material handling equipment is fundamentally mechanical equipment or machines applied for:
- control and
- Protection of materials, goods, and products all along the process of manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and disposal. There can be different types of equipment to be used in the mining industry, and these might include grinding, crushing, feeding, screening and washing equipment. Payloaders and different types of jaw crushers go a long way in making the industrial task lighter.
The material handling equipment can be classified into four major categories:
- transport equipment,
- positioning equipment,
- unit load formation equipment, and
- storage equipment.
Conveyors are used when the material is to be moved continuously and frequently between feeding and discharging locations over a fixed path and when there is a requirement of adequate flow of material to justify the conveyor investment. Whenever you choose conveyors, you should keep in mind that they should have high production efficiency and low production cost depending on the value of the machine and the overall turnover. Hydraulic protection and pressure cavity can be created to determine the efficiency of the machine.
- Tonnage per hour to be conveyed
- Sieve analysis of the material to be conveyed
- The bulk density of the material
- The temperature of the material
- Characteristic of the material i.e. lumpy, powdery, fines, acidic or alkaline and many more
- the ability of the loads that can be accumulated on the conveyor.
The equipment comprises the following:
- Steep angle conveyor: it is used when discharge point at a considerable height and space limitation
- Belt bucket elevators: This may be belt bucket or chain bucket elevators and are used when the layout is very compact and discharge is at an elevated point.
- Tripper conveyor: it is mostly used for distribution of materials in the storage bin or on floor area.
- Stacker and reclaimer conveyor: this type of conveyor is used for distribution as well as collection and conveying at a distant location.
- Reciprocating conveyor: this type of conveyor is applied when feeding is required over wide area and requirement of a fixed depth of material is obligatory; due to the processing requirement. One example is continuous feeding of pellet indurating furnace.
- Air slide conveyor
Other materials handling equipment are:
- Vibrating screen: single deck or multiple decks
- Vibrating feeder
- Reciprocating feeders and many more
Cranes and hoist
Cranes and hoists are used for lifting an item from one location and transporting to a different location. This can function over variable direction i.e. both horizontal, and vertical paths within a restricted area so that a conveyor cannot provide desired duty requirement. Cranes provide less flexibility than industrial trucks because they only can operate within a restricted zone. Industrial trucks: dumper truck, payloader, front end loader, tipper truck
Industrial trucks are not allowed to travel on public roads and are used to move materials over variable paths and when there is an intermittent requirement of material flow and use of a conveyor cannot be justified. One example is mines and quarries which produce lump and fines minerals and load it into the industrial truck like dumper truck for conveying to the mineral processing plant. More flexibility can be achieved than conveyors and cranes because there are no restrictions on the area covered, and they provide vertical movement if the truck has lifting ability in a steeper road.
You can consult with the agencies or contractors who supply material handling equipment on rental basis. For the perfect storage and conveyance of mining materials, you can also lease some equipment on yearly basis and pay for them accordingly.